Australia’s biggest age pension postcodes revealed
Queensland strengthens its position as Australia’s retirement hot spot
The last five years has seen age pensioner numbers shrink in Victoria and New South Wales, as seniors head north and west to enjoy richer retirements.
Particularly to Queensland, which now contains four of Australia’s top five age pension postcodes – all in regional areas. Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, East Toowoomba and Caloundra sit within Australia’s only five postcodes with more than 10,000 pensioners.
Social researcher Mark McCrindle said Queensland had strengthened its position as “Australia’s retirement hot spot”.
Between March 2016 and March 2021 the States that added more pensioners include Queensland with 36,858, Western Australia added 21,195 pensioners, South Australia 4,503, Tasmania 2,589 and the Northern Territory 1,280. The only two States that lost pensioners over the 5 years were NSW with -1,130 and Victoria -4,512.
Australia’s biggest age pension postcode is Queensland 4670 with 14,617 age pensioner residents. Which comprises suburbs/towns Bundaberg, Burnett Heads, Bargara and Coral Cove. Closely behind in the number two spot is another Queensland postcode 4665 with 14,015 residents. The postcode covers suburbs/towns Hervey Bay, Toogoom, Booral, Sunshine Acres and River Heads.
Other Queensland postcodes in the top 10 include 4350 (13,575) covering East Toowoomba, Athol and Drayton and 4551 (10,080) covering Caloundra, Shelly Waters, Pelican Beach and Kings Beach.
Western Australia’s postcode 6210 was the State’s only suburb/town to make the top 10 list. With 13,145 pensioner residents, suburbs/towns comprise of Mandurah, Wannanup, Silver Sands, Erskine and Coodanup.
New South Wales has five postcodes that round up the top 10 list of Australia’s biggest age pension postcodes. Postcodes include 2107 (10,007), 2259 (9,390), 2444 (9,239), 2250 (8,945) and 2540 (8,696). The suburbs/towns include Liverpool, Casula, Mount Pritchard, Tacoma, Wyong, Port Macquarie, Lighthouse Beach, Gosford, Wyoming, Nowra, Pyree, Cambewarra and more.
Australia’s Biggest Age Pension Postcodes
Surge in Commonwealth Seniors Health Card jumps 49% in five years
Interestingly, over the same period, the number of pension recipients rose just 2 per cent to 2.59 million, whilst the number of people with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card has jumped 49 per cent to 424,500.
Mr McCrindle said the surge in Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) holders suggested a rising number of seniors were asset rich. CSHC holders can have unlimited assets and its only financial barrier is a generous income test in which a couple earning $89,000 can still get the card and its attached benefits.
“The Baby Boomers are increasingly self-funded,” Mr McCrindle said.
“It’s a sign that superannuation is doing its job and property investment is doing its job.”
Association of Independent Retirees president Wayne Strandquist said just 50 per cent of people retiring today were relying on a full or part pension and the trend away from government welfare would continue.
“The proportion of people on a full age pension is diminishing,” he said.
Mr Strandquist said the CSHC was historically only held by age pensioners, but had been boosted by seniors groups urging retirees to check their eligibility, plus the government giving cardholders access to Covid stimulus payments last year.
“More and more organisations such as ours are campaigning among our memberships to make them aware that the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and its benefits is a very useful thing to have. And it’s becoming much more valuable beyond the pharmaceutical benefits,” he said.
State governments are increasingly allowing CSHC holders to access discounts in areas such as transport, council rates and energy bills.
Council on the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates said more Baby Boomers were delaying retirement.
“A significant proportion of people between pension age and their 70s are still working, not necessarily full-time but it takes them out of the pension system,” he said.
“More people are retiring with more superannuation and other assets, and may return to the pension system later.”
Mr Yates said the latest data echoed the recent Retirement Income Review’s findings that the age pension was affordable to the nation for “as far forward as you can see”.
“The government and opposition ought to be thinking about reassuring future retirees that the pension is sustainable,” he said.
– Department of Social Services. Australia’s Biggest Age Pension Postcodes table.
– Australia’s biggest pensioner postcodes have a regional flavour. The Australian. By Anthony Keane, 27 May 2021. Read more
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